A stunning new fantasy adventure in the acclaimed Avaryan ChroniclesHailed as "a sweeping saga, spiced with exciting, unexpected plot twists" (Publishers Weekly), Judith Tarr's richly imagined Avaryan fantasy series has gained a broad and devoted following that eagerly awaits each new book. The first five volumes in the series chronicle the reign of a living Sun God and his descendants in an exotic realm torn by warring magical forces. Now, after more than five years, Judith Tarr at last offers her many fans a stunning new chapter in this majestic epic.A wild, spoiled princeling of the house of Han-Gilen, Indaros Karelios is handsome, arrogant, a seducer and tavern-crawler with little regard for the noble line that spawned him. But Daros is also a mage, unruly, untrained, and unbound by the constraints that block other workers of magic.Caught violating the mages' gravest prohibition, crossing through the forbidden gates between the worlds, Daros is brought to judgment before the Lady Merian, ruler of the Golden Empire, Mistress of the Gates, and heir of Avaryan. But in Daros' eyes, Merian sees something no one else has seen—a power that far exceeds any she has ever known, and a burning passion that kindles her own restive desires. Unable to take his life, Merian exiles Daros to serve the one person who might tame him, the Emperor Estarion, the near-immortal who relinquished his rule to live a simpler life in the lands to the north. As Daros learns to control his dawning powers under Estarion's discipline, he discovers a hideous truth: a vast, inexorable wave of darkness is approaching, devouring world after world. Recklessly seeking its limits, Daros vanishes into the chill night, and Estarion, too, is swept up by the shadow, landing on the shores of darkness, where he begins a new life in an ancient land plagued by demons of the night.Embattled and alone, Lady Merian calls upon her circle of mages to summon the power that will turn back the darkness, as Daros descends to the deepest heart of the darkness, risking his own life and soul to turn back the endless night.